Butter and Eggs Day, Petaluma: Through Ethnographic Eyes

For nearly the past one hundred years, Petaluma has hosted the Butter and Eggs Day festival and parade each April. Last year’s parade on April 25, 2015 boasted over 30,000 attendees at an event that lasted nearly five hours. Historians of the festival can find rich archival holdings in local collections. Among the many documents about the festival in the Sonoma County Library archives are photographs of a Charlie Chaplin impersonator at the 1923 Butter and Eggs Day Parade: Butter & Eggs day parade Charlie Chaplin 1923.png

While the vogue for Charlie Chaplin impersonators may have faded, there has always been plenty of popular appeal at the parade: in the 1990s, briefcase-toting downtown merchants dressed up in suits and marched in fancy formation; today, the tradition of the Cutest Chick Contest continues along with floats showcasing everything from Clo the Cow to techno bands. The appeal to tradition is visible everywhere, with all major agricultural industries in the surrounding area contributing to the spirit of home-town pride.


Straus Family Creamery press release, 2011

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